5 things to know about Ohio State’s win over Maryland

Nov. 20 (Reuters) – Ohio State survived another crazy game in Maryland a week before meeting Michigan.

Four years ago it was a 52-51 overtime triumph for the Buckeyes.

This time, they survived the Terrapins 43-30 to stage a Duel of the Undefeated in Columbus next Saturday.

“When you play in the Big Ten in November, those are challenges week in and week out and the #1 goal is to win and keep going,” said Ohio State head coach Ryan Day.

Here are five things you should know about the game:

1. It was closer than the final result.

Maryland beat the Visitors 402-401 and had a crucial advantage through the air (318-241).

Both teams had nine explosive plays (passes of 15 yards or more and runs of 10 yards or more).

Maryland averaged 5.9 yards per game compared to Ohio State’s 5.5, and both teams scored on all five trips to the red zone.

2. A blocked punt changed the game.

For the second straight week, Lathan Ransom blocked a punt. This time, Xavier Henderson rebounded in the Maryland 14 to set up Ohio State’s go-ahead touchdown early in the third quarter.

With the help of this sequence, Ohio State dominated the third quarter after losing the first half. They outplayed the hosts 17-0 and overtook them 125-45 in those 15 minutes to set up a wild fourth quarter that Maryland won 17-16 by 146-117 yards.

3. TreVeyon Henderson returned, but he wasn’t as effective as Dallan Hayden.

Henderson, a sophomore who is expected to become one of the nation’s top defensemen this season, attempted to play with an injured foot after missing three games.

He caught an early 31-yard touchdown on a screen pass but struggled to hit holes throughout the first half, finishing with 19 yards on 11 carries.

Hayden picked up the weakness and found the end zone three times in the second half, finding creases in defense and capitalizing on them for more than five yards a pop.

“We didn’t quite get the running game going there in the first half and then switched to Dallan and he really got us into a rhythm,” Day said. “I thought he was going to hit the holes hard. Two good hard runs right after the blocked punt there and that was good.”

4. Taulia Tagovailoa outplayed CJ Stroud.

Maryland’s quarterback was almost the player of the game when Tagovailoa completed 26 of 36 passes for 293 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 39 yards, but 27 of those yards were erased on sacks. He lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown to end Maryland’s comeback hopes, but he didn’t stand much of a chance that game when Ohio State’s Zach Harrison pulled him out from behind.

Stroud wasn’t sharp early but finished with 18 for 30 for 241 yards and a touchdown with no turnover.

5. This all felt somewhat familiar.

Ohio State came into a failed two-point conversion on their last trip to College Park in 2018 to lose to the Terrapins.

This one wasn’t as close, but it had the same frenetic feel at times. And in both cases, Ohio’s rendezvous with Michigan reigned supreme.

Meanwhile, the Wolverines also had a tougher day than expected. They needed to rally at home to beat Illinois 19-17 by field goal in the final minute.

With both wins, the teams meet for the fourth unbeaten time (1970, ’73 and 2006).

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Hayden saved the day again. A week after rushing for 100 yards against Indiana in relief for the injured Miyan Williams, Hayden rushed for 146 yards in a much closer game.

Statistics of the game

Ohio State converted three of four short-yardage runs after struggling in that area in the last four games. However, the Buckeyes failed to convert a fourth and one where Day called a pass.